Employment Levels in Philadelphia

After finally bottoming out in the mid 1990s, employment levels in Philadelphia fluctuated mildly around 900,000 persons from 1995 to 2015. Then, employment in the city enjoyed unprecedented growth through 2019 almost reaching the million mark.

With the COVID shutdown, employment in Philadelphia plummeted to levels unseen in recent history –falling almost 20%.

As the post-COVID recovery slowly unfolds; employment has returned to its 2017 level. As office workers continue to prefer to work for home, and service workers continue to be in short supply, the return to pre-COVID levels may be a few years off into the future. The pending recession will add a second hindrance to stem this upturn.

Across the city, employment levels vary. Roughly 25%of all employment is located in center city and university city sections of Philadelphia.